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Safety At Sea

Dedicated to safe boating through research and seminars

We conduct annual Safety at Sea Seminars to provide valuable information to cruising and racing sailors, as well as commercial operators.

Update 11/11/21:
The Sailing Foundation has TENTATIVE plans to run an in-person Safety at Sea Seminar on Sunday, February 13 in the Seattle/Bainbridge area. Once the course is confirmed, an update will be posted here with the details, and an email with a link to sign up will be sent out to the Safety at Sea mailing list (sign up below).
Proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be required prior to registration.
Per US Sailing, ALL attendees that are seeking to receive the International Offshore Safety at Sea Certificate that meets World Sailing Guidelines for Personal Safety (either through a 2 day In-Person course with hands-on training; or the one-day Hands-on Only course; or a Refresher Course) MUST take the Online International Offshore Safety at Sea course (Units 11-15) prior to attending your course. NO EXCEPTIONS. This requirement was mandated by the Safety at Sea Subcommittee for any course held scheduled from January 1, 2021 onward."



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The Safety at Sea Committee of the Sailing Foundation is dedicated to promoting safe boating throughout both the commercial and pleasure boating industry through seminars and research into the development of products that enhance boating safety.

Safety At Sea Seminars

The Sailing Foundation conducts alternating courses in the Portland and Seattle area each year. These popular courses are a requirement for many offshore and international ocean races. Those who aren't concerned with certification will still find a wealth of useful information by attending the Safety at Sea Seminar.

The seminars, designed and conducted by sailors, all experts in their fields, provide novice and experienced mariners with information and skills required to prepare for sailing offshore, boat preparation, handling heavy weather, recommended safety equipment, and emergencies at sea.

The two-day, US Sailing-sanctioned event is open to all cruising and racing skippers, crews and their families, recreational power boaters, as well as commercial fishermen. The program, endorsed by Cruising World and Sailing World Magazines and sponsored by West Marine and Landfall Navigation, has evolved from the highly successful program developed by the Sailing Foundation and the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland. It incorporates the latest techniques and information available.

Lecture topics include: first aid, rescue at sea, heavy weather seamanship, weather forecasting, damage control and repair, communications equipment, navigation, and personal safety equipment.

The hands-on Day 2 session includes training with in-the-water demonstrations, key survival tactics, man-overboard recoveries, flare procedures and helicopter evacuation. The session is accompanied by in-depth discussions and provides a logical preparation step for those sailors seriously preparing for independent, self-sufficient offshore sailing - both racing and cruising.

2020 Seminar Information

lifesling safety

USCG Approved Lifesling

It's one thing to get the boat back to a man overboard. Getting the man back in the boat can be far more difficult, especially if the victim is unconscious. The USCG-approved Lifesling is the most compact, economical, and effective solid lifesaver unit on the high seas. Stanchion-mounted, the Lifesling pack contains a pliable center section horseshoe, 150' of 3/8" floating polypropylene line, and an optional water-activated personal marker light. The idea is to deliver contact instantly to the crew in the water, facilitating short-handed retrieval without losing time (and, quite possibly, losing sight of your crew). A hoist and tackle system is another option designed to help bring even your heaviest crew aboard safely, even if injured, unconscious, or in atrocious sea conditions.

Periodically, The Sailing Foundation holds hands-on training in the use of the Lifesling. Experience has shown that crews that practice MOB drills and rigging the tackle that's used to bring the MOB back aboard greatly increase the chances of a successful rescue.